Carl Froch reacts to George Groves' decision to retire from boxing

  •  PA Sport

Former world super-middleweight champion George Groves has announced his retirement from boxing.

The 30-year-old has called time on his career four months after losing his belt to Callum Smith in September.

Groves, who is also known for two high-profile fights with Carl Froch, became world champion at the fourth attempt when he beat Fedor Chudinov in Sheffield in 2017.

The Londoner, who turned professional in 2008, said he wants to go out at the top.

“After taking a little time to reflect on the recent events in my career, I have decided that it is time for me to retire as a professional fighter,” he said.

“In 2017, I boxed in front of a home crowd in Sheffield and became the WBA super-middleweight world champion.

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“After four attempts I had finally fulfilled my childhood dream, and the experience was as great as I had always imagined it would be. It was without doubt the best moment of my career.

“Some of you might think it odd that I’m choosing this time to retire. I’m still young, still fit and healthy, and there are still some big fights out there for me.

“But it’s for these reasons that I am choosing to retire now. I have a young family at home; it’s time to spend some of my better days with them.

“I don’t want there to be a time where I’m “too old” to box on, or where an injury retires me in or out of the ring.”

Having won his first 19 professional fights, Groves enjoyed a blockbusting clash with Froch in 2013 and was on course for a surprise dethroning of the WBA and IBF champion when the referee hastily intervened in round nine.

Groves won much public adulation, but lost the rematch with Froch again six months later at Wembley.

Their rivalry was extremely bitter and their relationship remains frosty as a result.

As you might be able to tell when Froch was asked for his immediate reaction to the news his old foe was hanging the gloves up.

“Will I miss him? Probably not,” Froch wrote in a column for Sky Sports. “But I can’t deny that Groves made a massive, positive impact on the end of my career. Between us we filled Wembley and raised the bar for the next generation, led by Anthony Joshua of course, to box there, regularly.

“Groves certainly played his part in all that. A big part. He will be remembered for all those mind games and smart words he came out with, but I have to be honest, I never found him funny or clever.

“What I will say about him though is well done for becoming a world champion. Even if I was not his biggest fan, I was glad to stand up applauded his win over Fedor Chudinov at Bramall Lane.”

Bit harsh? Quite possibly. Regardless, Froch has praised Groves for recognising the right time to retire.

He added: “But I won’t miss him and I am not sure that British boxing will miss him, these days at least. There was nothing left out there for him.

“He lost to Callum Smith, who is now top of the super-middleweight world and it wasn’t like it was a close or controversial defeat, he was conclusively beaten and there was never going to be a rematch.

“Groves helped me finish my own career in the best way possible, so now it’s his turn to call it a day. Fair play to him.”

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